Mumbai: Trader swaps real diamonds with fakes on pretext of buying them
In a move that seems straight out of a Guy Ritchie movie, a diamond trader managed to pull a fast one on a colleague by swapping real diamonds with fake ones. His triumph was, however, cut short when the Mumbai Crime Branch nabbed him in Ahmedabad.
The traded took the diamonds to examine them and swapped them with fake ones. File pic for representation
According to officials from Unit VII of the Crime Branch, which solved the case, the accused has been identified as Dhirubhai Munjibhai Patel (52), a resident of Uttaran, Surat, in neighbouring Gujarat. On September 23, Patel and two accomplices, entered Bharti Jewellers in Rajawadi, Ghatkopar. He told the shopkeeper there, Maulik Doshi, that he wanted to buy diamonds. Maulik is the nephew of the shop owner, Vasant Doshi. On the pretext of inspecting the diamonds closely, Patel and his two friends managed to swap the real diamonds with the fake ones they had brought with them. The diamonds were worth Rs 90 lakh.
“Doshi had lodged a complaint of cheating with the Pant Nagar police. He had said that three unknown people came to see the diamonds and, after closing the deal, they told him they were leaving to bring the cash. They had managed to replace the original diamonds with fake ones,” said Venkat Patil, senior police inspector, Unit VII, Mumbai Crime Branch.
After the case was registered, the Crime Branch set out to trace the culprits. However, they hit a roadblock after the CCTV footage turned out to be blurry.
“We had hardly any clues to go on as the CCTV footage was not very clear. But we came to know from Doshi that the three accused were speaking in Hindi, but had a Gujarati accent. Doshi also told us that they had very good knowledge of diamonds,” said Sanjay Surve, police inspector, Unit VII.
Surmising that the trio could be diamond traders from Gujarat, police started their search with the picture obtained from the CCTV footage, and visited Opera House, a well-known diamond trading hub, and Bandra-Kurla Complex, where the Diamond Bourse building is situated.
There, they confirmed that the accused were not from Mumbai. They then started visiting diamond markets in Gujarat, like Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Amroli, Bhavnagar and Rajkot.
Two at large
“When we showed the picture to people in the Ahmedabad diamond bourse, we got some leads and picked up Patel from Ahmedabad yesterday (Thursday). We have recovered diamonds worth R20 lakh from the accused and are searching for his two friends,” Inspector Surve added.